From Hot Water to Cold coverOne of the more astonishing facts that demonstrates simultaneously the global requirements of World War Two, the industrial capacity of the United States, and (by comparison) the real impact of the nuclear revolution on great power conflict is the size of the United States Navy in September 1945.  There were twenty-three battleships, twenty-eight aircraft carriers, and seventy-one escort carriers—in total, including cruisers, submarines, and destroyers, some 1,166 major combatant ships.  The smaller craft numbers are even more astonishing.  The U.S. built some 88,000 landing craft during the war.  With the war over, the question was what to do with all of it.  How large should the U.S. Navy be now that peace was at hand and no serious naval opponent remained?  What place was there for a navy in a world with air-delivered nuclear weapons and the promise of collective security through the United Nations?

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